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From maintenance to mission

Is your church called to deepen relationships with ecumenical partners? Let mission be the driving force in mergers and collaboration argues Geoffrey Farrar

From maintenance to mission

Is your church called to deepen relationships with ecumenical partners? Let mission be the driving force in mergers and collaboration argues Geoffrey Farrar

 

"I'd give you three years."

NORTH WATFORD METHODIST CHURCH was typical of so many churches across the country. A relatively small but faithful congregation, who worked hard to support a church that had served its community for decades. When I arrived in 2012, it was clear that the future of the church was very uncertain. There was a lack of volunteers, dwindling reserves and, perhaps most importantly, unsuitable premises. Simply to maintain and heat the building, the church was utterly dependent on lettings. In turn, this meant that there was less and less time, space or energy to engage seriously with mission or outreach. When I met the tiny property committee in my first few months there, I was immediately reminded of Jesus speaking about those who were weary and carrying heavy burdens. The building had become an almost unbearable yoke on the shoulders of the congregation, which they could neither use as they wished nor afford to improve.

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